Hydroelectric plant hums along

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By Katy Korkos

Los Alamos County’s two hydroelectric power plants are humming along this winter, thanks to plenty of water in the reservoirs behind both El Vado and Abiquiu dams. Though winter is often a slow time, where operators do routine maintenance, but this year the water keeps on flowing so the turbines keep on spinning.The Abiquiu plant has a rated capacity of 13,800 kilowatts with both Francis turbines working. At Abiquiu, a 340-foot high dam impounds the Chama River to create a 5,200-acre reservoir, more than 12 miles long. The El Vado dam is 154 feet tall and designed to create a storage capacity of 195,440 acre-feet.

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